Self-Help and the Dating Scene – the Good, the Bad and the Ridiculous

Can self-help books really improve your dating experience or are they just a waste of time?

You only have to browse your local book store or Google ‘self-help and dating’ to see there is a plethora of opinions and advice about dating, online dating sites, finding love, building, repairing, understanding, nurturing or examining  a relationship.  Everything from simple tips for a first date to understanding some fundamental differences between the male and female psyche are at your disposal.  The material out there is many and varied the real dilemma is in discerning between the useful and the ‘don’t waste your time’.
The Good
I don’t claim to be a relationship expert but I have found that in all the advice out there the type that is most credible and most helpful is that which resonates most closely with your own situation and provides workable strategy for improvement.  For example, if you find yourself sabotaging your relationships because you keep dragging your relationship baggage from one to the next, look for self-help books that centre particularly on this issue and examine if it actually provides a process for improvement.  It’s all well and good if the self-help analysis leads you to ask those questions that determine if you are in fact a ‘relationship baggage hoarder’ but it is of no worth if the best advice offered is to leave the baggage at the door before you enter a new relationship.  Look for genuine tips for improvement that outline questions to ask yourself and alternative steps to try to break old patterns.  Relationship and dating sites expert Jess McCann recommends, as her number 1 best read, Eckhart Tolle’s ‘The Power of Now’.  McCann claims that this book’s strategy for focusing on the present and letting go of toxic thoughts is why it makes it her book of choice.
The Bad
Unfortunately in the dating arena you often have to wade through a lot of bad self-help advice to find the good.  It seems every man and his dog thinks he can pen a self-help book.  Wrong!  In the search for quality material you will also find a lot of generalizations and vague strategies to try on the path to self-improvement.  Then there’s the downright disturbing.  In my search through dating self-help material I came across a news article about a particular dating self-help book, if you could call it that.  I certainly wouldn’t.  The book, Above the Game – A Guide To Getting Awesome With Women, by Ken Hoinsky falls into the disturbing category. It seems Mr Hoinsky is keen on taking us back to our Neanderthal beginnings – club your woman and drag her off by the hair.  He perpetuates bizarre and abhorrent practices where a woman’s permission is not required and ‘no’ doesn’t mean ‘no’.   Need I say more!
The Ridiculous
I think the winner is this category has to be the numerous teen magazines which profess in their articles advice to ‘Get A Guy By Summer’, ‘Get A Guy In Ten Easy Steps’, ‘Get Any Guy You Want’.

Honestly…… who really believes this stuff?  It seems the impressionable minds of youth do, or at least that’s what these magazines count on.

It would seem that there is definitely some weird and wonderful self-help advice out there for those in the dating market or those using dating sites so be prepared to sift through the rubbish to find the quality advice.  If nothing else you’ll have a laugh along the way as no amount of advice will save you from coming across the occasional weirdo.

If you have any further feedback and experiences with self-help dating and relationships books, please share your story with us.